Baby corn is not something I would rush to buy. I’m not offended by it but I much prefer its adult version roasted or boiled, always with a blob of butter. But I may have found a baby corn recipe that is definitely a contender.
I could never figure out the purpose of baby corn – aren’t you getting less for your buck? A nice addition in fresh salads but not as hearty as the ‘bhutta’ – the grown up version, roasted on coals.
During my PG (paying guest) days in Delhi, living with 13 girls in one room, the bhuta man who camped on the pavement right outside our building in winters, became a friend. His nasal squawks of ‘bhu.tttt..aa’ at 5 or 6pm would signal the winter evening routine. We would traipse down with our four rupees to join him on the stoop, sneaking in a bit of warmth from his coal fire, dodging the embers he’d fan away. While waiting for the corn to roast to his perfection we’d be talking about college, which girl was a bitch, the obligatory cursing of our landlady, which paper we had screwed up. At some point the bhutta man (we never asked his name, even after 3 years) would serve up the black and yellow speckled corn, glistening with lemon and chilli powder dust saying, ‘Aap log bohoth bak bak karti hai’ (You people talk too much). ‘Ab kha, aur bak bak bandh.’ (Now eat, and keep quiet). And we would dutifully comply.
It’s been a while since I had corn on the cob or baby corn – we usually have access to only the frozen kernels. But yesterday, the DH brought home some baby corn. With the internet on the fritz I turned to an Indian cook book we got as a wedding present, written for a British audience I think as it has plenty of balti recipes. There’s where I found this recipe for Corn Cob Curry (not quorn for my British friends). You can use big corn or the baby corn.
It’s got the sweet and salty taste of corn, spices and fresh coconuty yoghurt. And yes, you can still taste the corn.
Corn x 4 whole cobs (8 baby corn)
Onion x 1 large
Ginger x 2 inch piece fresh
Garlic x 4 cloves
Green chilli x 1
Turmeric x 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder x 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds x 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves x 6
Jaggery or sugar x 1/2 tsp
Yogurt 1 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
If using the big corn, using a sharp knife so as not to damage the kernels, cut the corn in half. If using baby corn either use whole or cut in half.
Heat a little oil in the pan and gently fry till the corn just starts to brown. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Drain and remove from the oil and place in a bowl.
Grind the onion, ginger, garlic and green chilli with a little water to make a paste. Add all the spices to the onion paste. Heat a little oil and add the onion/spices and 1/4tsp salt. Fry the paste well till the spices are fully cooked and the raw smell goes away (about 5 to 10 mins). Remove the paste from the fire and allow it to cool down. Slowly add the yoghurt and mix through well. Add the cooked corn. You can also sprinkle a little coconut on the top if you’d like it a little more sweet.